Westcliff: 20 arrested in drug supply investigation
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Twenty people have been arrested this morning as part of a co-ordinated strike against drug supply across south Essex.
The arrests were made during a series of warrants executed in Westcliff this morning, with the first strike taking place at 4am.
The warrants were executed by specialist officers from our Op Raptor South team, Essex Police Operational Support Group and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, with support from the National County Line Coordination Centre.
As a result of this morning’s operation, we seized 25,000 wraps of what we believe to be crack cocaine and heroin, with a street value of £250,000.
We have also seized £60,000 in cash.
Each of the 20 people who were arrested remain in custody for questioning.
Today’s action is part of a sophisticated and complex operation which has focused on the supply of drugs in south Essex over the last nine months.
As part of that operation – prior to today – officers had seized:
- 1112g cocaine
- 320g crack cocaine
- 229g heroin
- 9255g cannabis
- 256 electrical devices
- Enforcement taken against 87 drug lines
- 11 drug dealing telephone telecommunication restriction orders issued
- £195,012.11 in cash
- 33 weapons, including knives, machetes, swords, imitation firearms and baseball bats
- More than £286,000 worth of drugs
Including this morning’s strikes, Op Raptor South officers have also made a total of 136 arrests and secured 86 charges as part of the operation.
Senior Investigating Officer Scott Fitzmaurice, of Op Raptor South, said:
“We make no apology for our uncompromising approach to tackling drugs and drug dealers in our county.
“We have spent the last year focusing on the people who we believe present the highest risk and harm to our communities – that means targeting the County Line holders and, from the sentences we are now seeing, we know that was the right thing to do.
“But we never lost sight of the people who we believe were delivering the goods to vulnerable people on our streets and in our communities and we have arrested 20 people this morning as part of this investigation.
“Let this be a warning to anyone intent on selling drugs in our county that dealing in Essex simply does not pay.
“I would continue to encourage the public to give us information on drug dealing – number plates of cars, CCTV images, names or any information you have or see. You may not see immediate police activity, but we are constantly working in the background to build secure criminal cases in order to bring people to court."